Brittany Ferries reports encouraging passenger volumes, but freight slump worsens

June 9, 2023

Freight down:

  • Since Brexit, Brittany Ferries has seen a decline of around 1/5th in total freight volumes carried on the Channel.
  • This year (2023) the drop has worsened worryingly.
  • From the start of April, the company has averaged around 2,000 fewer freight units per month than expected. The equates to a drop of around 8% compared with last year.
  • Reason: over-capacity and a price war on short sea routes.

OUTLOOK: if this weaker pattern continues, estimates for year-end suggest 15% worse freight performance than originally projected.

Passenger up:

  • Passenger volumes for 2023 are encouraging, if not spectacular.
  • Volumes are significantly up on 2022, but still lag behind 2019 which was the last pre-Covid comparison year.
  • So far this year, Brittany Ferries has booked 1,504,274 passengers (those who have already travelled and those holding a forward reservation). That’s a 17.6% increase on the same period in 2022.
  • However, volumes are still down by nearly 15% compared with 2019, a deficit of around 270,000 passengers.
  • Looking at forward reservations for the high season (covering April – October), reservations have reached 1,224,120 passengers, compared with 1,097,724 for the same period in 2022. This is an increase of 126,396 passengers, or 12%.

OUTLOOK: for year-end the company is forecasting an 18% boost in total passenger numbers compared with 2022.

 In total 1.95 million passengers are forecast to have travelled with Brittany Ferries by the end of the year. This would be a positive result, but still around 100,000 fewer travellers than expected.

Source and details per route in this press release.